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Digital Policy Salon: Settling for More

Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: Settling for More
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #55 • View online
Welcome to the 55th issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing.
Supporting newcomers to Canada is a significant part of our mandate at ICTC, and it is a goal we are proud to support through both programming and research. In this issue, we are pleased to release Settling for More, a new study on technology sector-skilled newcomers to Alberta and their experiences finding work in the province’s digital economy.
Our second focus this week is telehealth and health technology: our latest research overview summarizes the findings of a health-tech ecosystem report on Canada, while “what we’re reading” considers the Canadian telehealth landscape after COVID-19. Our latest podcast episode interviews the ICTC economics team on their labour market forecast for Canada’s digital economy. Last but not least, we’re beginning to release the agenda for ICTC’s upcoming open-access, virtual summit: stay tuned for panel announcements on our social media channels and reserve your spot today.
- Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)

Policy Updates 🇨🇦
Technology industry sees low representation of women on boards and in executive positions
According to a review by the Canadian Securities Administrators, in 2020-2021, among 599 issuers: 22% of board seats were held by women, 6% of board chairs were women, and 35% of vacated board seats were filled by women. Moreover, 5% of issuers had a woman CEO, 17% had a woman CFO, and 67% had at least one woman in an executive officer position. Women’s representation on boards and in executive positions varies by industry: technology issuers had the second lowest representation of women on boards and the lowest in executive positions.
UNICEF, Finland host world’s first international forum on AI policy for children
UNICEF and the Government of Finland hosted the first Global Forum on AI for Children this week. The event gathered experts from the around the world to discuss the importance of children’s rights in technology policy and AI, a topic that has traditionally been left out of national AI strategies. Also at the event, UNICEF presented its Policy Guidance on AI for Children. Published in November 2021, the guidance offers nine requirements for child-centered AI, such as providing transparency, explainability, and accountability for children, and preparing children for present and future developments in AI.
Study examines impact of suspension warnings on online hate
A team of researchers at NYU’s Centre for Social Media and Politics conducted an experiment on Twitter to determine whether suspension warnings can be used to reduce online hate speech. The researchers found that warning tweets could decrease the ratio of tweets with hateful language by up to 20% in the week following the warning. Twitter has conducted similar research on warnings with positive results.
Reports identify new trends in robotics patent activity, robotics adoption; researchers establish “North Star” for robotics field
A report published by the Centre for Security and Emerging Technology examines robotics patents granted to inventors in 88 countries over a 15-year period. The report finds industrial robotics, medical robotics, and transportation to be the most popular category of robotics patents, and finds China to account for the most (35%) robotics patents globally. According to a second report by the International Federation of Robotics, there are 3 million industrial robots operating in factories globally; China was the largest market for industrial robot installations in 2020, while Canada was 14th. Also in the robotics field, a team of researchers at Stanford University published BEHAVIOUR, a set of benchmarks for 100 everyday household tasks, which can be used to assess “success” in the field of robotics.
New Podcast Episode Available
Onwards and Upwards: Digital Talent Outlook 2025
Our Perspective
Overview | Digital Transformation: The Next Big Leap in Healthcare
Special Events
ICTC Horizon: Green Economy
What We're Reading
Virtual Health: Pandemic Band-Aid or Opportunity for Better Care?
Research Visualized
Health technology companies by location of headquarters (province) and industry. Compiled using Pitchbook data. ICTC, 2021.
Health technology companies by location of headquarters (province) and industry. Compiled using Pitchbook data. ICTC, 2021.
Using Pitchbook data, ICTC compiled a dataset of 1202 companies that make up Canada’s health technology industry.
In terms of headquarters, the companies in the dataset are primarily located in Canada (94%) and the United States (4%), with a handful of companies headquartered in Europe, the United Kingdom, Middle East, South America, and Asia. Among companies headquartered in Canada, the companies in the dataset are primarily located in Ontario (44%), British Columbia (20%), Quebec (18%), and Alberta (10%). The remaining companies (8%) are headquartered in Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. The figure above provides additional detail on the types of companies located in each province, broken down by primary industry group. More information on Canada’s health technology industry can be found in ICTC’s Digital Transformation: The Next Big Leap in Healthcare.
Our Research
Settling for More: Matching Newcomers to Alberta’s Tech Sector
Twitter Highlights
Listen to this great interview with ICTC's Khiran O'Neill on @TheDriveOn770! Learn more about our recent report, high-demand "soft skills," and ICTC's Agile Industry Mindset training that can help fill that gap.

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